« PREV. PAGE NEXT PAGE »

The curious thing about the new-car biz is that people invariably order more power than they need. When we were in our “import stage” in the mid-‘80s, we had a car that didn’t make too much power (90 modified to140) but it had a suspension that could work every bit of that meager output to the max, thus, we learned what it was like to drive a “balanced” automobile. The supreme lack of torque notwithstanding, we enjoyed this combination very much.

As a precursor to this, we’d experienced a turbocharged 2.0-liter more than 30 years prior. It was in a Pinto wagon with a Spearco turbocharger “kit” that had an intake tract of about two feet (draw-through carburetor situated out by the radiator) but certainly no intercooler (alcohol injection, though). The thing that flat amazed was its performance in a straight line. Quarter-mile jaunts of low-14s at over 100 miles an hour (figure 250hp in a 2,000-pound envelope) were the very equal of any street-tire big-block muscle car of the day, stick or automatic, but its paucity of cylinders went hard against the grain of V8 mindset indigenous to the times. To protect ourselves against the power it emitted, we did amend the suspension and upgrade the rubber with the best equipment available at the time, so the red Pinto’s chassis rolled as well as its high-pressure engine rocked.

The SS sedan is the third such model in the SS Coupe, HHR, and Sedan triumvirate and makes the most sense for older practitioners such as ourselves.  Though the HHR and HHR Panel are cool, the Coupe is too boy-racer for us. Here we’ve got the distraction of four doors, lots of trunk space, a curb weight just a hair over 3,000 pounds, and a real anxious way about it. Punch the throttle. No waiting!

« PREV. PAGE NEXT PAGE »